Ok, so I know you guys are probably sick of me going on and on about Shusaku Endo lately, but please let me share this with you, and I’m sure you won’t regret it.
I’ve already recently spoken about adding Endo’s The Final Martyrs short story collection to my book shelves (Peter Owen edition), and about reading the first story in the collection. But one of the best things I’ve found in this collection so far is preface written for the English edition by Endo himself.
In this preface Endo talks about character creation and how he purposely writes a short story in order to give his characters a more fuller life, and to set them up in the ‘wings’ to be included in a longer work at some point. Endo is so charming in that he talks as though his characters really are born, and that they exist in a cast waiting until their time on the ‘centre stage’ becomes a reality.
It’s a beautiful preface from Endo and I really wish I could reproduce the whole thing here. However I’m sure I’d have the Peter Owen Publishers lawyers on my back in a second (they’re probably going to be mad at me already for this bookshot, which must be pushing the copyright limits). So to keep me out of jail you’re just going to have to buy the book if you want to read the preface for yourself – but then you also get the benefit of eleven amazing short stories as well. So it’s all good!